SEPTA took a significant step in ushering in a new fare system on Thursday as its board of directors approved a $9.1 million contract with an Ambler firm for support services for the new system.
LTK Engineering Services will serve as a consultant for the long-delayed, highly touted fare system, for which SEPTA hopes to select a vendor in September. The $100 million fare system will allow customers to pay with smart cards, debit cards and other contactless technology — eliminating tokens and paper transfers. Implementation is expected to take a few years.
Industry experts call LTK one of the best, having worked with agencies across the country to bring transit systems into the 21st century. SEPTA is one of the last major agencies to do so.
“They have long-term experience in new payment technology over the history of their firm. They’re actually supporting some of the largest open-payment initiatives, such as Washington, D.C.,” said John McGee, SEPTA’s chief officer of New Payment Technology.
The contract is for five years starting in August. In addition to new fare tech, LTK has provided consulting for two separate light rail projects in Minnesota.
“They’ve always met our demands for timeliness, and they’re very efficient,” said Sheri Gingerich, deputy chief operations officer for Metro Transit in Minnesota. “I have no complaints with their work.”